ACRL STS Research Committee Science and Technology Section

Feature Paper Submission 3 (Extended Call)

  • 1.  Feature Paper Submission 3 (Extended Call)

    Posted Feb 12, 2010 08:02 AM

    Age Distribution of References Cited in CIC Chemistry Faculty Publications: 1954-2004

     Age of cited literature is a useful criterion for determining shelf space allocations as well as informing purchase decisions for archival collections and certain formats, such as conference proceedings.    This project examined the literature cited by chemistry faculty at CIC institutions (Committee for Institutional Cooperation – the Big Ten plus the University of Chicago) at decadal intervals from 1954-2004.  All offered doctorates in chemistry during the six study years, and they could be divided into Land Grant and non-Land Grant subgroups.  Faculty lists were obtained from the ACS Directory of Graduate Research, and cited references were downloaded from Web of Science.

     Four hypotheses were constructed, and citations were analyzed using non-parametric tests in SPSS to determine differences in the age distribution of cited references over time.  Comparisons were made between individual institutions and between the Land Grant and non-Land Grant institutions.  Although there was little difference in the median age of cited literature over time between Land Grant and non-Land Grant institutions, there was a slight trend toward increasing median age in the more recent sample years.  When comparing individual institutions the same overall trend toward older median ages was noted; however, differences in median ages between institutions became less in more recent sample years.  Possible reasons for these trends include collection homogenization and increasing availability of electronic backfiles of key journals.  These data, which will be presented in tabular and graphical format, will interest chemistry librarians and collection managers at peer institutions. 


    * The content of this paper was presented as an ALA poster session (2009 Annual Conference) under a slightly different title.  I am currently preparing a manuscript for submission to a refereed journal.

  • 2.  RE: Feature Paper Submission 3 (Extended Call)

    Posted Feb 16, 2010 10:50 AM

    This comes across as a well-run study. My hesitation stems from the fact that the conclusions are so specific to Chemistry collections and are not generalizeable. I suppose other collections librarians could learn from the methodology. That is why I think it is a better candidate for a short paper than for the featured paper.

    - Lindsay

  • 3.  RE: Feature Paper Submission 3 (Extended Call)

    Posted Feb 19, 2010 11:53 AM

    I would have to say that the longitudinality[is that a word??] of this study is exempler.  I do worry about the specificity of the study to chemistry and the ability of the results to be generalized to a broader academic area, but think that it certainly provides the framework for this type of study and the trends are certainly areas that would seem to be transferrable to other science areas of ressearch.


  • 4.  RE: Feature Paper Submission 3 (Extended Call)

    Posted Feb 19, 2010 12:32 PM

    Of the 3 new feature paper submissions, this is my least favorite.  The topic is interesting to me.  There's some controversy about whether availability of electronic backfiles tends to result in narrower citation patterns, as Evans (Science magazine July 18, 2008) says, or wider.  But this is a fussy bibliometric question, and might not be good for most science librarians. 

  • 5.  RE: Feature Paper Submission 3 (Extended Call)

    Posted Feb 22, 2010 01:58 PM

    I do think this would be of interest to those outside of chemistry, but it would

    be more useful as a short paper than a featured article. Especially since the authors

    intend to expand it (or that's what they said) as a full-fledged article in another

    journal. Bibliometrics has been of long-standing interest, and this is a new angle

    on it, that appears to be well thought out.




  • 6.  RE: Feature Paper Submission 3 (Extended Call)

    Posted Feb 22, 2010 02:25 PM

    I agree that this is a good candidate for a short paper to present the methodology that could be used by other science librarians to develop conclusions for their fields.

  • 7.  RE: Feature Paper Submission 3 (Extended Call)

    Posted Feb 22, 2010 03:25 PM

    I'm going to abstain on this, since I'm pretty sure I know who the author is.

  • 8.  RE: Feature Paper Submission 3 (Extended Call)

    Posted Feb 23, 2010 10:48 AM

    I believe that this study could be presented at an ACS meeting, as it is specific to chemistry. The study is well developed and I believe will have a good chance of making it in a peer-reviewed journal. This is my second choice for a short paper and I don not think it will be a good featured paper do to is specificity to chemistry.